Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Vaccinated People Are Told To Continue Wearing Masks Indoors, Including the Workplace

With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently reversed its guidance on masks being worn in the workplace. As the Delta variant continues to spread and an increase in the number of new coronavirus cases are reported each day, the CDC announced that employers may want to reinstate a mask requirement within the workplace in areas with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission rates, which encompasses about 63% of U.S. counties.

Back in May, the CDC stated that vaccinated people need not wear masks indoors or outdoors, based on the protection provided by the COVID-19 vaccines. However, since then, the highly transmissible Delta variant has emerged and is causing an increase in new outbreaks within the under-vaccinated areas of the country. Although the CDC reported an average of 12,000 new coronavirus cases per day back in mid-June, the agency has since reported an increase of over 40,000 new cases per day with the Delta variant. While employers have planned to implement their return-to-office plans since the vaccines have become widely available, the uptick in the number of cases may delay those plans.

Although the CDC continues to emphasize that the best protection against variants are vaccines, healthcare associations are calling on employers to reinstate their previous guidance of masks being worn in the workplace regardless of vaccination status to avoid additional strains on healthcare resources, an increase in hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths.